TAMPA — As the story goes, Tampa Bay head coach Guy Boucher decided on the day of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final that he would go with Mike Smith for one game in net and return to Dwayne Roloson for Game 6.
At least that’s Boucher’s story and he’s sticking to it, as he announced yesterday that Roloson would face the Bruins tonight. Of course, had the Lightning not dropped Game 5, maybe his story — and goaltender — would be different.
Nonetheless, rest appears to have been a determining factor in giving Roloson the game off. So he should be full of energy tonight while trying to keep his team from being eliminated from the postseason.
“I don’t think any goalie’s played 82 games in a row. … You do it during the regular season, so there’s no difference here in the playoffs,” said Roloson.
As for whether he feels rested, Roloson said:
“I think everybody gets rest when you get a day off, so you take it when you can get it.
We won’t know for sure if Boucher’s ploy worked until tonight’s Game 6 is complete and we see where the series stands. But one thing Bruins head coach Claude Julien does know is that his team has to approach the game with a slight variance depending on the tendencies of the opposing goaltender.
“Well, we know that Smith is a great puck-handler, and he likes to come out of his net. He likes to play the puck. If we didn’t get good line changes, he could make us pay for it. That’s an adjustment you make,” Julien said. “And we were prepared for either/or last game. It really didn’t matter. And that was their decision to make, but we certainly didn’t put a lot of our attention towards that, just being ready. And tonight knowing that it’s Roloson, I don’t think it changes much in our approach to the game. But we do know that there’s certain things that we can or cannot do.”